Eastern Himalayan Region
7,096 sq. Km.
26 degree 12’ and 30 degree 27‘ North.
5800 ft. (1547 m)
Best Visiting Season
March to May & October to December
Sikkim is a small region wedged in between the eastern border of Nepal and
Bhutan. Until India annexed it in 1975 it was an independent kingdom. This move
was undoubtedly motivated by India's fear of the growing Chinese influence in
the Himalayas. Sikkim is culturally linked to its neighbors Nepal and Bhutan,
and Tibet to the north. Because of its remoteness it does have a specific
flavor of its own. Although the larger part of the approximately 480.000
inhabitants are Hindus of Nepali origin the land has many Buddhist influences as
well. The ancient monasteries of Sikkim and beautiful Mount Kangchenjunga are the
most important attractions when visiting the region.
A former kingdom , Sikkim is now the 22nd
State of India . It is rooted to the Himalayan Massif like a scale on the
neck of a Dragon. The various ethnic groups have their own nomenclature - the
Nepalese call it “Sukhim” or “New Home”, to the Tibetans it is known as
“Denzong” or “the Valley of Rice”, and to the Lepchas, Sikkim’s original
inhabitants , it means “Nye-Mal-Ale” or “Heaven”.
It's never been easy to visit Sikkim and even now you need a special permit to
enter. The region close to the Tibetan border remains tightly restricted. The
enchanting hill station of Darjeeling, which lies in the Indian State of West
Bengal, is the starting point for a trip into Sikkim. You can reach Darjeeling
by a nights train ride from Calcutta.
Surrounded by Tibet in the N,
Nepal in the W, Bhutan in the E, and by plains of India in the S, Sikkim has
many high peaks, though mostly situated on its western border range, called
Singalila Range. Near the top of this stands Kangchenjunga, the
highest peak in India and third highest in the world. Many other notable
summits rise on this range, N and S of Kangchenjunga, among them Kirat Chuli or
Tent Peak (7365m.) Talung (7349m) and Kabu (7317m). Among spurs branching
E into Sikkim from this range in the one carrying the much admired Siniolchu
(6887m) practical passes across the Singalila range from Nepal to Sikkim include
the Singalila (3142 m), Khang La (5054 m), Ratong La (5197 m) and in the far N,
Kongra La (5133m).
Tistsa River in Sikkim rising
from the slopes of Kangra La in the far N, is the main river that divides Sikkim
almost in half; it is called Lachen Chhu until it is joined by Lachchung Chu at
Chuntang. Zemu Chhu, which originates from the Zemu Glacier on the eastern
slopes of Kangchenjunga, is a tributary of Lachung and meets it at Zemu Naram, a
few Km. North of Lachen monastery. Talung Chhu, with numerous sources in the
Talung, South Simvo and Umaram Khaong glaciers further S, meet the Teesta much
further S, near Melli Bazaar. The Tista then flows into the plains of
India. Most of the important glaciers are along the Singalila Range and include
Lhonak, Upper Zemu, Changsang, South Simvo, Talung and East Ratong.
Glaciers are longer on the W (Nepal) side of the Range.
How to Reach Sikkim
The busiest route in and out of
Sikkim is the road between Gangtok and Siliguri. The town of Bagdogra at a
distance of 124 km from Gangtok (Capital of Sikkim) has the nearest airport.
Flights from Bagdogra can be booked at the Indian Airlines office on Tibet Road
in Gangtok (Phone 03592-23099). There are regular flights to Guwahati, Calcutta,
and Delhi from Bagdogra.
The nearest railway stations
from Gangtok are New Jalpaiguri (125 km) and Siliguri (144 km) connected to
Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, and other important cities in India.
Gangtok is connected by road to
Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and Siliguri. Cars, luxury coaches and jeeps are
available for hire in the town. There are also regular bus services run by the
Sikkim Nationalized Transport.
Kangchenjunga National Park
Kangchenjunga itself ( 28,179
ft/ 8589 meters ). Access to the heart of Kangchenjunga National Park, including
the vast Zemu Glacier, is generally only permitted to mountaineering expeditions
or experienced trekking parties using the service of a recognized travel agency.
The park has an impressive range of animals and birds, leopards, clouded
leopards, tahr, musk deer, bharal, scrow, snow leopard, red panda and binturong.
The capital of Sikkim, Gangtok
(which means 'hilltop'), sprawl down the west side of a long ridge flanking the
Ranipul River. The scenery is spectacular and there are excellent views of the
entire Kangchenjunga range. Gangtok its captivating architectural beauty radiates
with pagoda-like wooden houses, painted turquoise roofs and gay bazaars.
Undoubtedly modern times have wound their way into this picturesque town, but
the gently swaying and elegant costumes of the Sikkimese people, their smiling
faces, the unhurried pace of their life-style.
M o r e I n f o.
Mountaineering in Sikkim
The first priority to
mountaineering in Sikkim there arranged the plastic boots and Crampons with
front Points, Mountaineering harness, mountaineering ice-axe, climbing sling and
two locking carabineers, telescopic ski-sticks, Prussik loops, Climbing helmet
are some of the essential equipment needed for mountaineering.
sightseeing places and Adventure in Sikkim" a
Hotels in Sikkim
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